After nearly two years of work, a new research center — designed to save taxpayers’ money — opened in Columbia .Leaders claim the updated building will save hundreds of thousands of dollars every year because it requires less energy. Officials also believe the the project has injected millions more into the local economy.The new center is nearly 24,000 square feet, but it was designed to save local taxpayers about $200,000 every year because architects and builders focused on keeping energy costs down.The Columbia Environmental Research Center has been around for 50 years and they are known for their research on endangered species and water pollution. Now, the new facility will help bring more jobs to the area.”We brought in contractors all over from Mid-Missouri, including myself and we created over 200 jobs,” said Marcia McNutt of the U.S. Geological Survey.The $12 million building mainly came from President Obama’s stimulus plan launched in 2009. Eighty percent of the funds came from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, while the USGS paid for the remaining 20 percent.Officials say they will save money on electricity and heating and instead use that money to invest in the science program.
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